Noah’s Ark and the creation of the species rank

This is a section of my forthcoming revision to Species, presented here for comments that I can steal – umm, I mean for peer commentary. At this point in our narrative, we still do not have a uniquely biological notion of species, nor of a fixed rank in logic. As species concepts evolved, at some point both of Read More…

Genes – the language of God 6: Theological implications

Genes – the language of God 0: Preface Genes – the language of God 1: Genes as Language Genes – the language of God 2: Other popular gene myths and metaphors Genes – the language of God 3: Why genes aren’t information Genes – the language of God 4: Why genes aren’t a language Genes Read More…

Genes – the language of God 5: God and genes

Genes – the language of God 0: Preface Genes – the language of God 1: Genes as Language Genes – the language of God 2: Other popular gene myths and metaphors Genes – the language of God 3: Why genes aren’t information Genes – the language of God 4: Why genes aren’t a language Genes Read More…

Book review: Understanding Evolution

I posted this on Panda’s Thumb, but I thought I would repeat it here. I occasionally get books for review unsolicited, and many of them are not worth noticing. However, Kostas Kampourakis’ Understanding Evolution is a wonderful resource for students of all kinds, including biology students. Kampourakis, a philosopher at Geneva, has compiled and discussed sensibly a Read More…

Closet Darwinism, and definitions

Every so often, somebody makes the case that “Darwinism”, “Darwinist” and “Darwinian”, being the generic noun, the individual term, and the adjective of Darwin’s name and therefore (supposedly) theory, are dead terms that cause nothing but harm (see Scott and Branch 2009). Larry Moran has just made this very argument, refusing to be called a Read More…

Accommodating Science overview

I have done quite a lot of blogging under this heading lately so I thought it might be useful to get all the posts used in order: On beliefs Why do believers believe silly things? The function of denialism Why do believers believe THOSE silly things? The “developmental hypothesis” of belief acquisition How to argue Read More…

Accommodating science: Faith and reason

[This is the penultimate chapter. I can’t be bothered trying to get the references or footnotes included in the posts, so you’ll have to wait for the book. Some of this has appeared on the blog before in less well written form, so don’t worry about the deja vu] All religious systems, it is confessed, Read More…

Carroll v. Craig – a telling comment

Sean Carroll just debated William Lane Craig. In his summing up, Sean wrote In terms of style, from my perspective things got a bit frustrating, because the following pattern repeated multiple times: Craig would make an argument, I would reply, and Craig would just repeat the original argument. For example, he said that Boltzmann Brains Read More…

Degrees of religion

Larry Moran quotes Jason Rosenhouse disputing Phil Plait: So, after all, that, let us return to Plait’s argument. He tells us that the problem is too many people perceiving evolution as a threat to their religious beliefs. Indeed, but why do they perceive it that way? Is it a failure of messaging on the part of Read More…

The origin of “intelligent design” in the 18th and 19th centuries

A question asked on the talk.origins group by reader Garamond Lethe led me to do some reading and writing, which I do below the fold. He asked: I’m looking for an article that detailed the history of the term “intelligent design” prior to its use by the DI. I have a dim memory of reading Read More…